Online forums become a threat to VN businesses
VietNamNet Bridge – webtretho.com and lamchame.com, the forums of the parents and consumers, have become the big threat to Vietnamese producers, because the forums’ members there may kill them one day with just their comments.
Online forums have been mushrooming recently in the context of the rapid increase in the number of Internet users and the Vietnamese habit of sharing their stories with others.
Any personal problem could be the topic for discussion at the online forums which have become more popular to people. Webtretho.com, for example, has had 1,219,953 members, while the number of members in the “online” status is always at tens of thousands. Meanwhile, lamchame.com has 349.773 members only, but more than 17 million entries have been sent to the website.
The online forums, which were initially thought as simply the places where people meet and gossip, have turned out to have a super power, because they can help advertise businesses and can also kill them.
A small piece of news or a complaint of a member, after it is posted on the forum, would be quickly become a hot topic which can raise thousands of comments.
When a member complains about the quality of a product he buys, this would be a hot topic for a discussion. Other members either criticize the product, or call on to boycott the products of the manufacturers, even though the complaint and the quality of products have not been clarified.
Nguyen Hoang Van, Director of Cua Ngon Company Ltd in HCM City has become the latest victim of an online forum.
In May 2013, he read an entry on webtretho.com which complained that Cua Ngon cheated consumers by selling low quality crabs. As soon as the information about the bad quality of Cua Ngon’s products appeared on the website, negative comments appeared, though the initial information had not been clarified.
Most of the members of the forum expressed their anger about the “tricks” played by Cua Ngon. The members, who are also the consumers, have decided to turn their back to the company’s products, calling on to boycott the enterprise.
Van has complained that the comments on the forum have badly affected the company’s business. The sales of the company have decreased sharply because customers have refused the company’s products.
Cua Ngon is not the only victim of the online forums. The comments like “Tay chay hang The gioi nuoc hoa o XXX” (don’t buy products at the World of Perfume), or “Cac me dung mua ca hoi phile o Big C” (Housewives, you should not buy filet salmon at Big C), and “tu bo mua chung” (say goodbye to groupon websites) and the complaints about the low quality of products are numerous on the forums.
Especially, the prestigious dairy brand like Friso or Enfa have also become the “aiming points” of the forum members’ criticism.
Businesses could not imagine the “super power” of the online forums. A member of a forum, after reading the entry complaining about the filet salmon at Big C To Hien Thanh, wrote that she has never bought salmon at Big C To Hien Thanh, but she is going not to buy products from the supermarket.
The member, like other Vietnamese, still cannot check the information on the forum, but they think it would be better to keep away from the supermarket which sold low quality products.